A winter jacket, a phone number for mental health help, a person to contact for legal assistance, a way to stay warm this winter — these are just some of the items available at a single community event aims to help meet the need of area’s homeless or low-income persons.

Kanabec County Operation Community Connect is an annual event that brings together approximately 30 vendors offering help on a variety of issues from chemical dependency to housing assistance to foot care clinics. 

This year, the event is from 11-2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 21 at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 536 Union St S. in Mora (the location has been changed). Free transportation to the event is available from Timber Trails Public Transit by calling 1-888-217-5222. 

Operation Community Connect is designed to connect individuals and families to local resources and services. Shari Norling, one of the events organizers, said, “We just really strive to make the day a success and our community stronger by connecting individuals and families to these resources.”

The targeted audience for the event are typically low income or homeless individuals and families, however everyone is welcome to come learn and explore the resources available. 

Norling said the event draws approximately 250 people annually.  One of the main attractions of the event are free winter jackets and youth boots (supply is limited). 

Kanabec County Operation Community Connect is a non-profit group whose operations and any giveaways are funded from grants, donations and private fundraising events. The event has been occurring for approximately 15 years. 

Persons interested in donating to support the event can contact Kanabec County Family Services at 320-679-6350 and ask for Krista or Shari.

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